Tuesday, 13 October 2009

First we discover from conclusive mapping of the entire human genome that "race" does not exist in any way that can be identified by science. Then we elect a president whose skin-color is a mixture of that of his white mother and his African father, and whose "race" can only be determined with reference to the "one drop" rule: Anyone with a drop of Black DNA (that is visible to the human eye) belongs to the black "race".

Now, we discover at the Root Magazine that Michelle Obama has a great-great-great grandaddy who was white, which make Michelle herself biologically a member of white white family whom she never knew, as well as a member of the Black family in which she was raised:
First Lady Michelle Obama’s maternal third-great-grandfather was a white man who fathered Melvinia Shields’ (her maternal third great-grandmother) son, Dolphus T. Shields, both slaves. This discovery, like all recoveries of the identities of ancestors we thought had been obliterated in the crucible of slavery, is first and foremost a welcome gift for the first family, especially for Michelle’s mother, Marian Shields Robinson, and the Shields family line. And for anyone still naïve enough to believe in the myth of racial purity, it is one more corroboration that the social categories of “white” and “black” are and always have been more porous than can be imagined, especially in that nether world called slavery. Read it all at The Root.
So we can only conclude that Michelle is exclusively of the "black race" if we do so on the utterly unscientific basis of the slavery-era social norm that anyone known to have even a drop of Black blood was to be considered Black, and therefore subject to the master's ownership and the country's strict laws determining the subjugated status of Blacks.

We know that all of this is arbitrary, capricious and socially constructed, e.g. to insist that I am all genetically Black while my mother was white and my father was Black. In fact genetic evidence would show a strong relationship to both parents. The child of a Black man and white woman is neither all black nor all-white as a matter of science. We only insist on strict delineations because Blacks, as a minority, cannot afford to lose a single member of our army, while whites' socio-political hegemony is based on the utterly absurd belief that they are a genetic race unto themselves, with superhuman and superior-to-Black characterstics in every conceivable way.

We know that we could just as easily say that Michelle Obama is "white", since she has one drop of white blood. Either "one drop"rule is a rule of law confounded by science, a conclusion that is the antithesis of empirical science.

Nonetheless, we American will wake up in the morning and see Black and white people in the mirror, even though reference to a color chart will show that we are brown or beige, and reference to a history will show that we are just as much biological members of white families as we are members of Black ones.

At some point, the documented discoveries of historians and the genetic analyses of the medical field will compel us to accept that the "color line" in the United States is no more genetically based than the redlining of Black neighborhoods is created and compelled the movement of tectonic plates. With all of this knew knowledge, we've all got a lot on our plates, and we're all "chewing"on color-aroused ideation, deciding whether to believe in scientific and historical facts or white supremacist-origin social structures whose purpose was to define and delineate the boundaries of Blacks' aspirations in America and the near boundlessness of our servitude.

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